For reasons no one can explain, in terms that make sense anyway, senior sales people are no longer required to prospect. Instead, the role of prospecting has been handed off to SDRs or BDRs or some other title that covers the role of prospecting, which is in practice is more qualification than opportunity creation. This is hurting sales organizations, hurting their clients, and hurting the senior reps who would all benefit from their own prospecting.
No one is better prepared to create value for the prospective client than a senior salesperson. They have the most experience, the greatest business acumen, and the most finely tuned ability to help clients succeed in making change. Those clients are deprived of this experience and instead, their first experience is less than it should be, even when sales people who prospect do their very best to create value. Who has helped the most clients change their organization and produce better results? Who knows better how to open a conversation that leads to change?
Less experienced reps are also being harmed by looking at more senior reps as models. They are learning that prospecting isn’t something that “real salespeople” do, and they mistakenly believe that being promoted means they will no longer have to create opportunities on their own, that this work will be beneath them. Younger, less experienced salespeople are looking up to see what success looks like. They are going to model what they see. Providing them with an example that allows them to believe that sales does not require prospecting to create opportunities is doing them a huge disservice.
This is a fundamental misallocation of the senior sales person’s talent, one of the valuable resources in the sales organization. You want your best and most capable people on your best and most valuable targets. You want your A team playing the game with your A clients. It doesn’t make sense to apply what is perceived to be a cheaper resource to this work when the opportunities you need to create are strategic, high value, high visibility, and potentially transformative to your results.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen